Oswego Considers Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan

OSWEGO, NY – Since 2008, the city and county and other municipalities in the county have been developing the Oswego County Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan.

It was developed and submitted to FEMA, which ahs given the plan conditional approval, according to Terry Bennett, the county’s Emergency Services Program coordinator.

It is necessary that it be formally adopted by all participating municipalities, she told the Administrative Services Committee on Tuesday night.

“The city of Oswego is one of 30 (municipalities) across the county that participated in the development of the Oswego County Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan. This is according to the federal Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000,” she explained. “It will help bring dollars into your community.”

It will help lessen the impact of things such as severe thunderstorms, severe winter storms, the ice storm, and other catastrophes, she said.

Barton and Loguidice, PC, assisted in gathering and preparing information for the plan, Bennett said.

Several public meetings were held in the fall of 2009 regarding the plan, she said.

“The plan had its public presentation on April 21, 2010. And then, it went to state and federal emergency management agencies for approval. It took them about a year to get it back to us. And then we made some changes that they requested,” Bennett told the councilors. “It went back and we just got conditional approval in December.”

Once the city officially adopts the plan, they will be able to apply for funding that might be available following a disaster for “specific mitigation projects,” she added.

“This doesn’t affect any funding that you would receive for the response portion, as we did in 2007 when the lake effect snowstorm hit and most of the county was under 14 feet of snow,” she explained. “And we all received federal funds from FEMA through emergency management, the state and the county. This doesn’t affect that. This will help you develop projects and put them in place to prevent disasters from hitting again.”

Some suggested projects for the city are included in the plan.

However, if city officials come up with other ideas, they can be incorporated as well, Bennett told them.

He plan must be updated no less than every five years, she added.

The committee sent the request on to the full council for consideration.